On August 15, H. E. Ms. Pooja Kapur, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria, gave a reception at her residence on the occasion of the national holiday of the country. In the hot but beautiful summer evening, the garden was full of guests.

Her Excellency congratulated the guests: ambassadors, diplomats, Indians living in Bulgaria and friends with the words:

"Thank you for your presence this evening to celebrate the 71st anniversary of India’s independence.  On this wonderful occasion, as we conclude the year-long India@70 celebrations and embrace our septuagenarian present with vigour, what is it that I can tell you about my country?

I could tell you that we feel blessed with the knowledge and wisdom of our uninterrupted civilisational heritage dating back 5000 years. We feel satisfied that despite the rough and tumble of history, we have managed to positively contribute to the upliftment of the human spirit and mind. We feel privileged that the essence of our nation is founded on winning hearts and minds rather than hard power. And we are proud that while we have never been expansionist, yet we are perhaps the only country in the world after which an ocean, countries and even people in other parts of the world are named, which is telling in itself.

But that is not what we are commemorating today. What we are celebrating is the India that has made huge strides in the last 71 years to become the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy. The fastest growing big economy accounting for 15% of global growth. The world’s 3rd largest start-up and innovation hub. A country that is re-emerging and reclaiming its place in the comity of nations, as we like to say in diplomatic parlance.

Our strength lies in our pluralism, in our unity in diversity, which sets an example in a fractured world. And we are a country on a mission – to get rid to the socio-economic challenges that still befall us, as we embrace sustainable development and inclusive growth on a scale that boggles the mind; and as we prepare ourselves to be world’s youngest country by 2020.

India and Bulgaria are time tested friends. Our contacts date back to the 4th century B.C. and concrete Indian-Bulgarian relations are traced to the 8th century A.D.

Modern day diplomatic relations established in 1954 are comprehensive and we have been working successfully with our Bulgarian counterparts to upgrade them across the board, politically, economically, in Science & Technology and education, socially and culturally.

Our people share a special bond.  A number of Bulgarians, several of whom are present here today, have, through their sheer love for India and all things Indian, created an amazing network of institutions across the country that foster an Indian milieu and promote an Indian sensibility.  To give an example, International Yoga Day was celebrated in 33 cities and 3 villages in Bulgaria this June, all thanks to local initiatives. 

I am confident that with the continued support of all stakeholders, both Indian and Bulgarian, our relationship will scale new heights in the coming months...

The Ambassador thanked everyone who had come to respect the Independence Day (1947) of India. There followed performances of Indian classical dances by two talented Bulgarian artists - Katia and Victoria, as well as some dance groups.

The guests also enjoyed delicious Indian dishes and beverages.

The photos were provided by the Embassy of the Republic of India in the Republic of Bulgaria.